Collection: Don't touch me mooney!

in #hive-18065825 days ago

Heeeyho Readers! Bringing a bunch of old coins today.

Today's post is multifaceted. Could be a #history post, because there's a fair bit of Brazilian past here. Or maybe an #economy-philosophy write-up to discourse on the non-sense of fiat currencies and the importance of sound money. It's not limited to #silvergoldstackers, though might be interesting for that community.

After much thought, I opted to post on #hivecollectors — it's about a collection none the less. Inspiration came after @duskobgd's post earlier this week about his collection of WW-II banknotes (check). To bring some diversification instead of also showing a collection of banknotes (that I have plenty), this post will showcase a nearly complete lineage of Brazilian coins. If you are into cryptocurrencies, there's a great chance the history of money/currencies interest you.

A collection starts

Dad kept a fairly old red Hornimans tea caddy his entire life before passing it to me. The inside was filled with old Brazilian coins dating as far as the early XX century — were his grandma's, he says — and beyond. One day I had to present a history project in school, so, for some reason, the coins were my theme. I combined dad's coins with a bunch of other donations from grandmas and pas, plus several banknotes from various family members. The collection grew quite large out of nowhere.


Sexy thumbnail

Only much later I understood (?1) the real history of money, the difference between money and currency, the non-sense of fiat currencies, the logical reasoning behind Bitcoin and its revolution to our relationship with money and markets. Object for another post? Maybe.

Today I wanna talk about my collection of coins and bring a bit of Brazilian history to Hive. Those who live in relatively stable countries won't believe the absolute madness of living in a country who's had ten different monetary standards in 100 years.

Brazilian coins (1879 - present)

Alright, showing each and every coin is impossible. I first thought about bringing a handful for each decade, but some remained the same design, making the photos repetitive. A second option would be to show examples for each monetary standard: we've had 10 different standards, which is messy as hell.

The best way is to divide the collection in Brazilian political periods, that way it's more interesting for readers in terms of history.


Brazilian banknotes and coins

Let's start with the imperial period (1822 - 1889) because I don't have pre-imperial coins to present {laughs}. Would love to have Portuguese gold coins. Anyways.

Empire of Brazil (1822 - 1889)

The oldest coin in my collection is 100 Réis, made of nickel, from 1879 – ten years before we became a republic. The back side has the empire's coat of arms below the Empire of Brazil inscription. I had a beautiful silver coin from the same period (1888), but that's been stolen. Bastards!

Sem título1.jpg

100 Brazilian Réis from 1879

First Brazilian Republic (1889 - 1930)

After usurping the Emperor Pedro II, Brazil became officially the Republic of the United States of Brazil. The commonly called old republic is established. We kept the same monetary standard, despite heading for a period of turmoil.

I have several coins from the period, with the most important being the following #silver Réis from the early XX century. They are all 900 silver.

Below, from left to right: two equal 2000 silver Réis from 1907 and 1911; 1000 silver Réis from 1908; three equal 1000 silver Réis from 1912 and 1913.


Brazilian silver Réis from 1910's

The following silver coin is pretty special. It celebrates one hundred years of the independence of Brazil (1822 - 1922). Face value is 2000 Réis and both the Empire and Republic coats of arms are on the back.


Centenary of the independence of Brazil, 1922

Vargas era (1930 - 1945)

Brazilian republic went kaput with the revolution of 1930, marking the so-called Vargas Era. President Getúlio Vargas governed the country during the period, all the way through WW-II. Let's say this period was... err.. difficult for most of the world. Silver coins disappeared and we began to use cheap copper/nickel coins.

That's always the case when Governments need more money: they debase/unpeg sound money to issue more coins; if those coins are too expensive to make, they use cheaper materials and so on until it's worth nothing.

To exemplify the period I selected coins from 1931 to 1949. Readers will notice (second picture) that our monetary standard changed from Réis to Cruzeiro.


Vargas era Réis coins

The above coins are among the last versions of Réis before we changed to Cruzeiros. Dates are 1931, 1935, 1936 and the last two 1937 – all copper/nickel. Only God knows why they changed design so much in such a short period of time.

In 1942, the Brazilian government decided to create a new monetary standard called Cruzeiro, with the fractions named Centavos. As always, they needed to standardize and stabilize our economy. Cof cof stop printing cof cof.


Bronze/Aluminum Brazilian Cruzeiro and Centavos

The above coins are from the mid 1940's. Our new standard (Cruzeiro) lasted until 1967, when we entered a period of total turmoil in terms o monetary standards. I won't go into details because it's quite wild.

Essentially, the Cruzeiros later gave place to Cruzeiros Novos (1967) then back to Cruzeiros (1970); Cruzados (1986) replaced the Cruzeiros, followered by Cruzados Novos (1989); we go back to Cruzeiros (1990). Confusing? Yes!

Populist Republic (1946 - 1964)

Short-lived, chaotic, and unstable. Elections are back. Vargas is elected in 1950; kills himself in 1954. Capital of Brazil (Brasilia) is created. Brazil wins the Soccer World Cup in 1958. Inflation rises. Cold war and fear of communism take place. It's gonna get crazy.

I only have four coins from the period – all Bronze/Aluminum. These are from 1954 and 1955.


Bronze/Aluminum Brazilian Cruzeiro and Centavos from 1950's

Military Regime (1964 - 1985) & New Republic (1985 - Present)

I told you things would get crazy! Fearing communism, on April 1st (1964) the Brazilian Armed Forces decided they were the saviors this time. As it's always the case with Governments, there's always that one group who thinks: "in my turn problems will be solved". Never the case. Censorship, torture, more inflation, new monetary standards, oil crisis, prohibited imports to incentivize the national industry, et cetera. We established a new constitution in 1888 and held democratic elections in 1889, but the period is remarkably known for the out-of-control hyperinflation.

To exemplify the period, I added below examples from the Military Regime except for the last one (far right) — that's from the New Republic era. From left to right you see: 10 Centavos* (1967), 2 Centavos (1969), 20 Centavos (1970), 1 Cruzeiro (1972), and 5 Cruzeiros (1991).

*Centavos is the fraction of a Cruzeiro


Stainless steel Brazilian Cruzeiro coins

Coins from the period are somewhat boring and worthless. They are all made of stainless steel, reason why I only picked a few to photograph. Second reason: the 1980's in Brazil is known as the lost decade. Our inflation began to rise in 1979 with the second oil crisis and continued to rise throughout the 1980's and early 90's. We changed monetary standards faster than I change underwear, figure that! Inflation got as high as 2000% per year at some point. The bulk of my collection (both coins and papernotes) is from the period, simply because money outside the banking system was nearly worthless.

The last hope

Those who are into cryptocurrencies must know that every Government-issued currency is bound to failure at some point — plenty of examples in this very post. However, Brazil was so out of control that a bunch of sons of God themselves economists and politicians decided a complete reform was due. On July 1st (1994) our contemporary monetary standard is introduced, the Real.

To exemplify the Brazilian Real, I picked the very first 1 Real coin from 1994 (not in circulation anymore) and the current 1 Real coin. In circulation today we have: 1 Real, 50 Centavos, 25 Centavos, 10 Centavos and 5 centavos. There used to be 1 Centavo coins, but those have been removed from circulation along with the 1 Real note.


1 Real Brazilian coins 1994 - present

Uff, it's over!

What a giganormous post!

I'd like to end this post inspiring all those — especially younger folks — who are into cryptocurrencies, but aren't into the history of money, to go and study about the subject. Learning about money is the basis to understand Bitcoin. The write up you've just read, even full of simplifications and generalizations is a great testament of how Government money is... to say the least.. complicated and bound to failure.

Since its inception in 1994, the Brazilian Real has lost between 80-89% of its original purchasing power (depending on the study), and tends to keep on inflating. Meanwhile, Bitcoin's inflation diminishes every four years. Think about that.

I hope that you've enjoyed this collection, history, economy post. And if you see my Silver coin from 1888 somewhere, please return it asap {laughs}.


If you enjoyed this post consider leaving your upvote for a hot coffee.

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~Love ya all,

Disclaimer: The author of this post is a convict broke backpacker, who has travelled more than 10.000 km hitchhiking and more than 5.000 km cycling. Following him may cause severe problems of wanderlust and inquietud. You've been warned.

I'm Arthur. I blog about Adventure Stories, Brazil, Travel, Camping, & Life Experiences.

Follow me to stay tuned for more craziness and tips.

Posted Using InLeo Alpha


Learning about money is the basis to understand Bitcoin.

Thank you for the learning.😊



I didn't see your silver coin from 1888... maybe some other collector will read your post... ? :D You never know hahaha

But what a great history/economy/collector post. So many eras and political periods 😳

Whoever stole that coin, had to steal the coolest one =////
Did you read the whole thing? It turned out pretty large


I did. And you to know, I was quite tired (no, no, not from the post but in general as it was late evening here and we were in the mountains in the afternoon where I had a little freestyle falling exercise so now I am bruised 🤦🏻‍♀️😂) but I stayed with the Réis, Cruzeiros, Centavos, silver, nickel, bronze, aluminium, Cruzados, Reals, underwear 🤭😂 . I hope that after the photo session and history lesson the content of the red tea caddy will not be lost/stolen.

Thiefs always steal the coolest things. They are specialist in that!

I had a little freestyle falling exercise

A freestyle falling exercise? 🤣 Aka, a little fight against gravity? And gravity won. Sry, I shouldn't laugh. Are you ok?

Gravity always wins in such situations 😂
Yep, I am ok 😇

10 different economic systems over 100 years, wow.
The banknotes could involve some considerable research as well.

My collection began from my grandfather and father before it came to my possession. I've added and documented most of it and one day give it over to my children as an Heirloom and family asset.

A fine post, thank you for sharing your collection of Brazilian silver @mrprofessor.

Ouch! Your collection is miles cooler though. You've got some incredibly old coins there it seems.

10 different economic systems over 100 years, wow.

Right? And then ppl wonder why Brazil is for ever a developing country.

I like old silver coins preferring historically significant ones but it's rather fun to have a variety from different countries. I feel the most significant is the old Colonial 8 Reales as the standard that established the foundation of world trade. I have been collecting for years adding to what my father gave me. Going to Coin club meetings and regional coin shows, i do have a few Brazilian pieces.


Niiiiiiiiiiice! Those notes look brand new. I see you have a stamped (cruzeiro reais) cruzeiro. I believe that stamped notes were short-lived because soon they issued the Reais we use today (that purple 5 reais you have, for example).

The green one in there, is it a 1 Real note? We don't use them anymore; I had only one of those, but gave away to a friend traveler who collects notes.

Yes, you are correct it is the green One Real note. I know a family that spends a lot of time in Sao Paulo and travels back here to Canada and sometimes gives me some inexpensive coins and notes. They even taught me a few phrases and share many of their experiences, cooking and culture there. Obrigado! @mrprofessor

So cool! I much prefer animals on our notes then the other animals (politicians and doubtful personalities) hahaha

You have a really big bunch of coin 🙂 I'm glad my collection WWII inspired you for this post.
I have never seen coins in these denominations before. 2000, 1000? But the 300 and 400 are the most interesting to me.

Isn't it weird? Those old Réis were part of a non-fractionary system -- it's so complicated I don't even understand how they priced stuff. Another info I couldn't find is the actual amount of gold/silver those coins were pegged to.

Boa, Arthur! Também tenho uma coleção de moedas, apesar de que muitas delas acabaram se tornando parte da coleção involuntariamente porque não valiam mais nada a cada troca de sistema monetário. Lembro bem de cédulas com carimbo, que passavam de dez mil para dez numa tentativa inútil de lidar com a superinflação. Também lembro do congelamento de preços que tampouco tinha qualquer efeito e, finalmente, da implantação do plano real, que surpreendentemente nos deu alguma estabilidade econômica, mas já nos rendeu uma nova cédula de duzentos há pouco tempo. Obrigado por compartilhar.

Tens que postar as tuas moedas! É uma pena que a minha de prata de 1888 foi roubada... era a maior e mais bonita, com o rosto de D. Pedro 2.

mas já nos rendeu uma nova cédula de duzentos há pouco tempo

Nos rendeu a de 200 e nos tirou a nota de 1 junto com a moeda de 1 centavos (que passou a valer nada)

Wow what an amazing collection!

You do have such a wonderful way to share the history of Brazil through these coins- so many layers of stories with each coin through each period.

And you're so right, anyone that comes from a country with a stable-ish economy and singular relationship to the motherland- like us Aussies who have only ever had the hand-me-down currency of the UK, until decimal currency became the norm, it is hard to imagine such a century with so many iterations due to so many political upheavals.

And your collection, dating back as far as the late 1800's puts mine to shame, though I did state that old coins for us here in Australia, would be considered pretty recent for the rest of the world- as with all of our European based it's totally weird that we are talking about the same thing but through 2 completely different lenses.

But wow, what am awesome collection you have there and I really hope that you can keep it in your family and have it kept safe, handing it down to each emerging generation.

Thank you! Isn't it weird when we stop and really think about money? I don't even know how to start. Humans figured out a way around the problems surrounding the barter economy, and look how it evolved. Every-single-civilization collapsed by the same errors: trying to get too big while dissolving their money supply into worthless coins. In a unique way, money almost works as a limiting factor for any expansionist civilization. Well, Brazil has never been expansionist in any way, but our Government has always loved to spend more than the revenue; plus the lack of any solid peg, like the Dollar had until 1971. Recipe for disaster.

Btw, I spent quite a while researching what the Réis (our pre-1942 currency) peg was. It's so confusing that I gave up, but it looks like it was pegged to gold. It was not as clear as $20.67 = 1 Oz of gold though. For that reason and many others I don't believe Brazil will ever leave the *under development" status. Never ever.

Yeah right, it must be so confusing to learn about the various currencies that Brazil has had over the years, especially for the younger generations over there for they really only know credit card and crypto these days and not too much about fiat money of the distant past. Much more confusing for you guys than us, as we've only ever really had 2- imperial and decimal.

they really only know credit card

Yup, most don't even know where money comes from. Some thin the government could simply print money and fix everything.

Like meat and dairy. They have no idea it comes from their beloved animals and the amount of cruelty involved in these industries.